Scarlet Therapeutics: A Bright Spot in Bristol’s Biotech Scene

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Scarlet Therapeutics, a leader in red blood cell-based therapeutics (tRBCs), has launched with seed funding from Science Creates Ventures and Meltwind to further develop its platform. 

Born out of more than a decade of research at the University of Bristol and spearheaded by Professors Ashley Toye and Jan Frayne, with CEO Alistair Irvine at the helm, the team is pioneering a novel approach to treating a wide range of diseases.  

Unlike standard red blood cells, tRBCs are packed with therapeutic proteins, providing a potent, targeted treatment which is enduring – as their predicted 120 day long life will allow dosing every 2-3 months. The tRBCs, which are derived from cell lines not donated stem cells, can deliver these proteins throughout the body without triggering an immune response because the proteins are hidden inside the therapeutic red blood cell. 

Initially, Scarlet is setting its sights on tackling two rare metabolic diseases: hyperammonemia and hyperoxaluria 

However, the potential for this technology stretches far beyond these conditions: Scarlet says that as tRBCs are pervasive throughout the body, endure for months, are safe, they could be targeted at other conditions such as metabolic diseases, cancer, and autoimmune diseases.